Adzuki Bean & Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with a Twist

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on June 5, 2012


Last week, I had a meeting downtown and it was the perfect excuse to grab a bite to eat at Fresh restaurant. Whenever I’m in the city I try to pop in for a meal, even if that means eating an early dinner at 4pm and hitting rush hour traffic on the way home. It’s always worth it.


I started with a juice made up of grapefruit, beets, ginger, lemon, milk thistle, and cayenne. This might just be one of my favourite healthy juices and the bright pink colour gets me every time.


For an appetizer, I ordered the spring rolls stuffed with brown rice vermicelli, mushrooms, carrot, and cilantro served with a garlic dipping sauce. Not something I normally order, but I really enjoyed this!


Being in the spirit of the salad challenge, I ordered another new-to-me dish: the All Star Salad made up of quinoa and adzuki bean tabbouleh,  raw shredded kale, goji berries, toasted nut and seed mix, sunflower sprouts, parsley, cilantro, grilled sweet potato, and tofu.


This picture really doesn’t do it justice, but let me just tell you I was kicking myself for not trying this sooner! It was the perfect balance of whole grains, protein, and healthy fats with a great crunchy texture thanks to the toasted nuts and seeds. I didn’t leave a bite behind.

The problem with many dishes at Fresh is that they can be tricky to recreate at home. Most of their dishes contain all kinds of toppings, sauces, grains, and multiple proteins which is why they taste so great, but they can be lengthy to prepare. If you don’t feel like preparing the entire salad, I suggest simply making the tabbouleh. It makes about 5-6 cups worth and is a lovely addition to any lunch!

I started with a bed of 1 cup shredded lacinato kale. By “shredded”,I just mean that I finely chopped it on a cutting board, after removing the thick stems at the bottom of each leaf. For those of you who still aren’t crazy about kale, I highly recommend trying lacinato kale. It’s much milder than curly kale and also has a nice smooth texture.


Next, I made tabbouleh with a twist. It’s filled with red quinoa, adzuki beans (I really need to make these more often!), parsley, cilantro, green onion, and tomato. I knew with the right dressing, this was going to be a new favourite tabbouleh.


For the dressing, I decided on a red wine vinegar, olive oil, and garlic dressing instead of the typical lemon dressing that we often see in tabbouleh recipes. It has just the right amount of bite from the vinegar, while still being quite mellow.


I poured the dressing on the Tabbouleh and mixed it all up. Then, I added sea salt and pepper to taste and added another tablespoon of red wine vinegar to make it pop a bit more. It turned out incredible and I could barely keep myself from shoveling it all in right then and there.

I added about a cup and a half of the Tabbouleh on top of the shredded kale:


Followed by a sprinkle of goji berries, pepita and hemp seeds:


And finally, pea sprouts and baked sweet potato rounds.


All of these toppings are completely optional, depending on your preference and you can certainly enjoy the Tabbouleh on it’s own as I mentioned. Thanks to the beans and complete-protein quinoa, I found it very satisfying. In an effort to save time, I didn’t add any tofu, but feel free to add some if you wish.



Adzuki Bean and Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with a Twist

Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free


Inspired by Fresh Restaurant’s All Star Salad.

6 cups tabbouleh
Prep time
Cook time


For the tabbouleh
  • 1/2 cup dry adzuki beans (or use 1.5 cups cooked beans)*
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa (makes 2.5 cups cooked)
  • 1 cup packed fresh parsley, thick stems removed and minced
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh Cilantro, thick stems removed and minced
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped (makes 1 & 1/4 cups)
  • 3 large green onions, chopped
  • Herbamare or fine grain sea salt & black pepper, to taste
For the dressing
  • 1/3 cup + (1 tbsp, optional) red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Herbamare/fine grain sea salt & ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)


  1. Adzuki beans: Soak the dry beans overnight in water OR use the quick soak method like I did: Place beans in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat and let it sit for 1-2 hours. After soaking, drain and rinse the beans and then place back into the pot with new water, covering the beans with water by about 2-3 inches. Bring water to a boil and then reduce heat to low-medium, simmering for about 35-45 minutes. Watch closely and add more water if necessary. Alternatively, you can use canned beans for a time-saver.
  2. Sweet potato: Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice a sweet potato into 1cm rounds. Lay flat on baking sheet at bake for about 15 minutes each side, watching closely so it doesn’t burn.
  3. Quinoa: Add 3/4 cup of dry quinoa and about 1 & 1/4 cups water in a medium-sized pot. Stir. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and cover with lid, simmering for about 15-20 minutes and watching closely. Quinoa will be light and fluffy when ready and the water will be absorbed.
  4. Dressing: Whisk together all dressing ingredients and season to taste. Or feel free to use a mini processor if you have one.
  5. Tabbouleh: Combine the drained & cooked beans, quinoa, and chopped vegetables in a large bowl. Pour on the entire amount of dressing and stir well. Season to taste. Makes about 5.5-6 cups and should keep for at least a few days in the fridge.
  6. To assemble the salad: Add 1 cup shredded kale onto a plate or large bowl. Spoon on 1.5 cups of tabbouleh on top. Garnish with goji berries, pepita and hemp seeds, and a handful of sprouts (all optional). Finally, add the grilled or baked sweet potato rounds on the side.

Nutrition Information


I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

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Anna June 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Just made this today and it is SO good. Very refreshing for the summer! I forgot to make those sweet potatoes, but the salad is good alone.

I’ll be making this again!


Dara June 11, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Gorgeous! I love tabbouleh and tuscan kale is the greatest salad green ever!


Shelley June 11, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Hi Angela – I am going to make this tonight, my husband is allergic to sweet potato…any recomendations to substitute for the sweet potato rounds? Thanks


Stacy June 13, 2012 at 11:02 am

I made this salad for a party and it was beautiful! The only thing I noticed is that after being refrigerated the dressing seemed to disappear into the salad and not leave much flavor which was a pity because it was so yummy when I first put it on. Next time I might make extra to drizzle on before serving.


Elyse V June 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Yummy, I just made this and it is delicious and fast! I had all the ingredients already on hand! Thanks for the great recipe! :)


Suzanne P June 18, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Delicious! I can’t wait to compare it to Fresh!


Ember July 8, 2012 at 11:16 am

I added a huge scoop of roasted red pepper hummus to the top of the salad.


Nd October 10, 2012 at 10:39 am

This is a dumb question, but is there a good substitution for the red wine vinegar in the dressing? Perhaps a different vinegar?


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 10, 2012 at 10:49 am

Yes im sure other vinegars would work too! I would add it slowly and not all at once, just in case it’s over powering.


Carmen October 18, 2012 at 1:48 am

Angela I made this salad tonight for my hubby and BFF and we all enjoyed it so much! I have to say there was extra kale leftover on my mans plate…but he devoured the remaining tabouleh!
I was raised in a healthy eating family and after some years of neglect and quite bad health for myself and my husband I am returning much in part thanks to your site and Ari at The Diva Dish. So for me it’s a happy return and for my hubby it’s quite an adventure.

Thank you so very much for your amazing recipes, blogs, they are so inspiring and have prompted me into such a better way of lifestyle!

Every day when I step into the kitchen I am excited to explore something new and every day I feel stronger and healthier as a result!


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 18, 2012 at 8:33 am

Hey Carmen, Thank you for your lovely comment! That means so much to me.


terry February 13, 2013 at 8:47 am

looks great, and i plan on making this for a dinner party this weekend. how many people does this recipe serve? thank you


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 13, 2013 at 8:54 am

Hi Terry, It makes 5.5-6 cups. Hope this helps!


terry February 13, 2013 at 8:59 am

okay, the dinner party is for 14-16 people but there will be lots of other people, so i think i will double it and it should be fine? i really like your blog, just found it today when searching for recipes using goji berries


Kerry May 6, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Thank you for this delicious recipe! My boyfriend and I loved it so much! The dressing sealed it… Great flavor! I’m sure I’ll be making this frequently in the future. The sweet potato rounds went really nicely with it, too!


Anna June 30, 2013 at 7:31 pm

This is absolutely delicious! Just made a batch for my lunch this week and I’m so excited! Perfect summer dish. Thank you!


sylvia November 16, 2013 at 1:42 pm

wow!!! This is just FANTASTIC!!!


Maria Nesterova December 2, 2013 at 11:08 am

This recipe was delicious! I didn’t have quinoa on hand so I used buckwheat as a substitute and used a three-bean medley for my beans. It turned out amazing! This is definitely a recipe I will make over and over again in the future.


Fiona January 1, 2014 at 4:00 pm

I just made this for lunch and I enjoyed it. My husband thought it was okay. It was far too oily so I would use half the oil next time. I also added more vinegar. I really enjoyed it but it still didn’t have as much flavor as some of your other salads. I really like the sweet potato rounds idea!


Rosanna May 24, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Darn! I live in a small desert community where there are no stores. I took the recipe with me yesterday when I went to Palm Desert and bought everything I needed there. But because kale is not actually on the list, I didn’t realize I needed it.
My husband just drove to our little market. No kale of course. No chard either.
I guess I will shred Romaine unless anyone has a better idea.
I am making this for a vegan dinner party.


langenskiold March 4, 2016 at 10:26 am

Thank you for this lovely recipe !
I live in the south of France where I can find nice organic spinach leaves.
That could maybe replace the Kale.


sylvia November 7, 2014 at 11:54 pm

Angela – Thanks for this fabulous recipe! What a perfect combo – adzuki and sweet potato! Sweet potatoes are in season and with the cooler damper climate around here, adzuki beans are great for ridding the body of extra bloat ;-) I’m going to try making a colder weather version by lightly stir frying the veggies, tossing in the warm quinoa and beans, and topping with fresh cilantro and parsley.


Holly January 11, 2015 at 6:17 pm

Hey! Have you considered introducing a pressure cooker into your repertoire? I pressure cook the adzuki beans, and it takes *way* less time. They don’t even have to be soaked!


brian clarke October 6, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Hi There

Does anyone have the nutritional info on this salad


Barbara February 12, 2016 at 9:58 am

I love the addition of the roasted squash in the photos of your posted salad. The shapes are lovely and enhance the visual. I made a similar Aduki Bean salad from a recipe by Amy Chaplin. It called for pickled cucumbers which added a joie de vivre to the Aduki Bean Salad and were easy to make. Click on my name for a link to my site, to see photos and the recipe.


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